Cortoon-Shamrocks and Kilkerrin-Clonberne will go head to head in the Galway intermediate football final with promotion to senior status the prize.
Always a difficult division from which to win promotion - as Kilkerrin-Clonberne have found over the last number of years - both sides will be desperate to come away with a victory.
Cortoon-Shamrocks overcame Dunmore MacHales in last Sunday’s delayed semi-final by 2-09 to 0-11. The build-up to the game was marred in controversy due to Adrian Varley being unable to take to the field as a result of Covid concerns, and there was no love lost on the pitch between the teams.
Varley will now be able to play the final as his period of self-isolation is complete and that will be a huge boost to Cortoon as he is without doubt their best player.
As a result he will be expected to provide the goods in attack, alongside Joseph Donnellan and Cathal Mulryan. Donnellan, who is a towering figure, was in fine form against Dunmore, finishing with a tally of 1-04. As a result he can expected to be well minded in this weekend’s final as they come up against Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s teak tough defence.
The evergreen Derek Savage is still a vital cog in the Cortoon wheel and he will be hoping to help seal his side's return to the senior grade.
It is hard to discuss Kilkerrin-Clonberne without mentioning Shane Walsh. There are almost no more superlatives left to describe him. His talent was never in question, but his consistency was at times, but this year however he is in the form of his life. The speed, balance and control he possesses on the ball is mesmerising. When he puts on the afterburners, defenders can only hope to foul him as there is no chance of dispossessing him. As a result Kilkeerin-Clonberne rely on him heavily, and it sees him operating in an unnatural position at midfield. It does allow him to see more of the ball though, and there’s less chance of him drifting in and out of the game.
There are plenty more talented players in the Kilkerrin-Clonberne ranks, no less than Liam Boyle. The young wing back has a relentless engine and, coupled with his quality on the ball, there is a future county star in the making. He is expected to play a pivotal role if his team are to be victorious.
Johnny Ryan and Conor Rabbitte have also been in good form up front, and if they can chip in with a few scores to ease some of the scoring burden off Shane Walsh, it will further enhance their chances of making the step back up.
This is a tough one to call, the bookmakers have Kilkerrin-Clonberne as 8/13 favourites, but in reality it is a toss of a coin between the two.